THE ARRIVALS by Meg Mitchell Moore


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Moore debuts with an empty-nest dramedy about a couple in Burlington, Vt., whose three adult children return home for extended stays during one long but ultimately happy summer.

Oldest daughter Lillian is first to arrive on William and Ginny’s doorstep. With 3-year-old Olivia and baby Philip in tow, Lillian claims she’s just here for a rest, and she does seem exhausted with childcare. In their early 60s, Ginny and William are too polite to press, but the truth is that Lillian left husband Tom back in Massachusetts after he cheated on her with a co-worker at a drunken office party. In anger and spiritual confusion, Lillian finds herself drawn to the new young priest in town. Second son Stephen comes for a weekend visit with his pregnant wife Jane. They live in a Tribeca loft where Stephen makes a living writing book reviews (!), while Jane makes real money managing a financial firm. Ginny is dismayed to learn than Jane, whose intensity and careerism has always put the family off, plans to continue working after the baby while Stephen becomes the stay-at-home dad. Then Jane is forced onto bed rest and must stay in Burlington for the rest of her pregnancy. (Her mother, a divorced psychologist, is introduced early in the book but then drops from view.) Last to arrive is Rachel. A love affair has ended, she’s in debt, and her casting director boss seems unhappy with her work. Then she realizes she’s pregnant but has a miscarriage before she tells anyone. So she drops everything to head home for some family nurturing. William and Ginny, devout but open-minded Catholics, enjoy having the kids around but after awhile the chaos and laundry do get wearying. The mild situations and characters would have been at home on Father Knows Best. Jane goes into labor and might need a C-section. Tom comes to woo Lillian back. Rachel’s boss calls begging her to return to work.

Reads like a glass of warm milk. 


Pub Date: May 25th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-316-09771-0
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Reagan Arthur/Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2011


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